Thursday, April 04, 2013

Internet and Education

I think education is going to have to change. Classrooms are no longer the primary source for knowledge; information on anything is literally at our fingertips. Whether or not this is a good thing I will leave for you to decide, but one thing is for sure: gaining knowledge is no longer going to require a classroom.

Teachers should transition from givers-of-knowledge to teachers of what-to-do-with-knowledge. How do we deal with contradictory accounts of the same events? How do we look critically at what we see and read online or anywhere else? How do I know how much I am influenced in my opinions by those around me?

We still need traditional teachers, obviously.  For math.  Just kidding.  We need teachers to teach how to learn, rather than what to learn: how to come to a conclusion after weighing information from multiples sources; how to process the surfeit of information that is pouring into us every day; how to find meaning in madness.

One of the reasons I love studying psychology is because everything I learn attempts to be as objective as possible and most of my teachers are very forthcoming about her or his own biases.  They will often present a theory then include what its critics say about it, leaving us to decide with whom we agree, or if we agree with either of them.

I doubt very much that we as humans can shed all biases and I think we're always going to be influenced by our social environment, but if we can learn discernment to any degree we will be better off, and with so many competing narratives, this is the direction the classroom should go.

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